27 May 2013

Manassero wins PGA Championship at Wentworth

Italy's Matteo Manassero became the youngest winner of the PGA Championship when he beat Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a play-off at Wentworth, which was heavily influenced by the water feature on the 18th Hole, constructed by MJ Abbott in 2009.

Manassero wins PGA Championship at Wentworth

Matteo Manassero with the BMW PGA Championship trophy

The 20-year-old birdied the fourth extra hole to edge 2010 champion Khan after Scotland's Marc Warren dropped out on the first extra hole.

The trio ended on 10 under, one clear of Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and overnight leader Alejandro Canizares.

Manassero, who has now won four European Tour titles, is 60 days younger than Bernard Gallacher was when the Briton lifted the title in 1969 at the age of 20 years and 97 days.

Warren drove into the trees on the first play-off hole and then found the water to bow out. Khan and Manassero matched each other for two more holes but in lengthening shadows, the Italian opted to take a driver instead of a three-wood off the 18th tee the fourth time around.

Khan took a three-wood but found the water with his second as he went for the green. He reached the putting surface in four but Manassero found the centre of the green with his second shot and rolled his eagle putt up to the hole to leave a short putt for birdie, which he duly stroked in to win his first event since the Singapore Open last November.

The changes which leading golf course constructor MJ Abbott made to the 18th Hole on the West Course in 2009 and 2010 were designed by Ernie Els to generate just this kind of excitement at the business end of the tournament.

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